Amnesty: Boko Haram brutality against women, girls needs urgent response
Amnesty International says brutality against women and girls by Boko Haram insurgents needs urgent response.
In a statement on Wednesday, Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said its new research shows most of the women and girls do not get psychological and medical attention.
The director said survivors and witnesses described attacks involving sexual violence in at least five villages in Magumeri LGA of Borno state.
“In February and March 2021, Amnesty International interviewed 22 people in a cluster of villages in northern Borno State that Boko Haram has repeatedly attacked since late 2019,” the group said.
“As Boko Haram continue their relentless cycle of killings, abductions and looting, they are also subjecting women and girls to rape and other sexual violence during their attacks. These atrocities are war crime.
“The targeted communities have been abandoned by the forces that are supposed to protect them, and are struggling to gain any recognition or response to the horrors they’ve suffered. The Nigerian authorities must urgently address this issue.
“Amnesty International interviewed three other witnesses who similarly described the same attack, including hearing women’s screams and seeing them extremely distressed after Boko Haram left. A traditional healer said she cared for several women following the attack who had been raped.
“The same healer had previously treated two other survivors, including one who was under 18 years old, after a Boko Haram attack on another village.
“No survivors Amnesty International interviewed appear to have accessed formal health services. Stigma and fear of repercussions mean such incidents are significantly underreported, even within affected communities. At least one of the survivors continues to suffer health complications some months later.”
The group said the International Criminal Court must immediately open a full investigation into the atrocities.
Amnesty International said conflict in the north-east has created a humanitarian crisis with more than 2,000,000 people now displaced.